Poor Rusty! I feel for him... and you! I remember what it was like when Moe had his surgery last fall to remove all those cysts he had. He was miserable with his e-collar! But he adjusted to it within a short period of time and, while he never liked it, he learned to cope amazingly well with it. At first he got caught on everything and I had to monitor him outside because he couldn't climb the one step to the porch (and I feared he would put out an eye on a stick or bush). He re-arranged the furniture and took out plant tables and low-lying knick-knacks as he moved about inside. And, no matter how hard he tried, the couch became off-limits while the collar was on. Then he learned to lift his head up while walking and climbing the step. He got a little better at moving about the house and he learned to LIKE his dog-bed, which didn't require jumping up (before his surgery his dog-bed was completely ignored in favor of the couch). Even though he coped well it seemed he had lost his 'zest' for life. And then the day came when I took his collar off! What a celebration!!! He galloped around, happily barking and playing. Still we had to watch him because he would attempt to scratch at his incisions (Poor Franken-Moe had nine cysts removed - he looked like somebody stitched up a patchwork Basset ). If he scratched, or even if he looked about to scratch, we showed him the collar and said "NO!" and he'd stop with a moan. But he DID stop. It will seem like an eternity while you are going through this with Rusty but soon he'll be healed enough to remove his collar and he (and you) will be happy once again!